Solar Charge Controller is an electronic device that manages the power going into the battery bank from the solar array. It ensures that the deep cycle batteries are not overcharged during the day and that the power doesn’t run back to the solar panels overnight and drain the batteries. Some charge controllers are available with additional capabilities, like lighting and load control, but managing the power is its primary job.
A solar charge controller is available in two different technologies, PWM and MPPT. An MPPT charge controller is more expensive and highly efficient than a PWM charge controller, and it is often worth it to pay the extra money.
PWM Solar Charge Controller: A PWM solar charge controller stands for “Pulse Width Modulation”. These operate by making a connection directly from the solar array to the battery bank. A 12V solar panel can charge a 12V battery. A 24V solar panel or a solar array is needed for a 24V battery bank, and 48V array is needed for 48V bank.
MPPT Solar Charge Controller: An MPPT solar charge controller stands for “Maximum Power Point Tracking”. It will measure the Vmp voltage of the panel and down-converts the PV voltage to the battery voltage. When the voltage is dropped to match the battery bank, the current is raised, with a 20V solar panel, you can charge a 12V battery bank.
If you try to charge a 12V battery with a 24V solar panel, you will be throwing over half of the panel’s power away. If you try to charge a 24V battery bank with a 12V solar panel, you will be throwing away 100% of the panel’s potential, and may actually drain the battery as well.
The Key Features of a Solar Charge Controller are:
Multistage charging of battery bank - changes the amount of power set to the batteries based on its charge level, for healthier batteries.
Reverse current protection - stops the solar panels from draining the batteries at night when there is no power coming from the solar panels.
Low voltage disconnect - turns off the attached load when the battery is low and turns it back on when the battery is charged back up.
Lighting control - turns attached light on and off based on dusk and dawn. Many controllers are configurable, allowing settings for a few hours or all night, or somewhere in between.
Display- may show the voltage of battery bank, state of charge, amps coming in from solar panel.
What is the difference in PWM and MPPT Solar charge controller?
PWM Solar Charger
MPPT Solar Charger
PWM controllers are less efficient, the maximum efficiency goes up to 65%
MPPT is the highly efficient charge controller with the efficiency of 95%
These controllers are smaller in size with a maximum capacity of 60 Amps
These controllers are designed specifically to be largely supporting bigger solar panels in an efficient manner
PWM has been in the market for a long time and is therefore tried and tested
MPPT is relatively new technology but trending in the market
It can’t be used with bigger solar panels (>10 panels)
In bigger, solar systems, MPPT is recommended controller due to higher efficiency
The cost of a PWM controller is half as compared to MPPT Controller
MPPT Controller is relatively an expensive one-time investment
Solar Charge Controller Price and Brands:
There are many brands in India making solar charge controllers. The rating of the charge controller starts from 10 amps – 60 amps with PWM and mppt technology.
Loom solar is the only brand that makes mppt solar charge controller, the rest of the brands make PWM solar charge controller. Here is the latest price list of the solar charge controllers.
Loom Solar Charge Controller Price
solar charge controller model
Fusion 1024, 10 amps, 12-24 volt, pwm
Fusion 2024 20 amps, 12-24 volt, pwm
Fusion 4024, 40 amps, 12-24 volt, mppt SMU
Watch Video and understand, special features available in PWM Solar Charge Controllers?
Top 10 Solar Charge Controllers For Solar System With Price List in India
Find out the top 10 solar charge controllers, what it does, how it works, and how to select the correct size for an off-grid solar power system. It is basically a voltage and/or current regulator to keep batteries from overcharging. It regulates the voltage and current coming from the solar panels going to the battery. Most 12 volt panels put out about 16 to 18 volts, so if there is no regulation the batteries will be damaged overcharging.
FAQ – Solar charge controllers
Q. Is it mandatory to add a solar charge controller in off grid solar system?
Ans. It is strongly recommended to add a solar charge controller for charging the battery in an off-grid solar system. In the Absence of solar charge controllers, Battery life will reduce due to overcharging, deep discharging of the battery. There is a high risk that connected appliances such as DC Fan, DC Bulb, and DC Freeze may fuse due to high power flow from solar panels.
Q. What is the latest technology in solar charge controllers?
Ans. There is two techniques in charge controllers, (i) PWM – Pulse with modulation and (ii) MPPT – Maximum power point tracking. MPPT solar charge controller is the latest technology product with 99% power efficiency.
Q. How to select a solar charge controller rating for my solar panels?
The rating of the solar charge controller depends on how much current solar panels will produce when solar power falls at solar cells. You will find solar PV panel current, voltage information on the technical sticker passed on the backside of solar panels. The charge controller rating must be 20% higher than the maximum current produced by solar panels.
Download Loom Solar charge controller product catalogue from here.